Global experience. And personal service.
You may not know Morning Star but our processed tomato products sit on supermarket shelves under the labels of some of the most recognized food brands worldwide. Our long client list includes multinationally successful food manufacturers who rely on Morning Star’s high quality and professional integrity to make their products sell.
Now we can bring that same level of success to your business. We’re fueled by the entrepreneurial spirit and are sharing our 45 years of expertise with smaller food product manufacturing companies to enable them to compete in a wider marketplace. Morning Star Tomato Kitchens (MSTK) is a unique hybrid that provides seasoned, worldwide experience with hands-on, personal service for entrepreneurs and smaller, artisanal producers. Just like you.
We’re entrepreneurs, too.
In 1970, Chris Rufer began Morning Star as a one-truck owner-operator company in Los Banos, California, hauling tomatoes from fields to canneries. Today, Morning Star supplies 40 percent of national markets with bulk tomato paste and diced tomatoes. Our industrial sales are approximately $600 million annually. And we still haul our own tomatoes.
That keen entrepreneurial drive continues to lead our company, its personnel, and its focus on high quality and excellent customer service. We’re passionate about helping small manufacturers build their businesses. Now we can pass on to you everything we’ve learned along the way, with Morning Star Tomato Kitchens. Whether you’re purchasing a single pallet or a truckload of our product, we want to help grow your operation to nationwide or worldwide distribution.
Your partner has a name.
Morning Star Tomato Kitchens offers a full product line of top-quality tomato products. Because we contract with family farms throughout Central California, we’re able to keep our hands on quality control. All of our tomatoes are processed with state-of-the-art food safety standards. And for every client, we assign an individual representative to personally partner with them to suggest the perfect tomato product as well as advice and contacts for all stages of manufacturing and supply-chain management. Your MSTK representative will be your single point of contact for every aspect of our partnership. You’ll know his name, and you’ll have his direct number.
Simplifying the supply chain.
MSTK has years of experience at every point in the logistical process, from growing the best plants to on-time deliveries. Now we can bring that streamlined operation to you, eliminating the delays and higher, more expensive overhead of traditional supply-chain processes.
Most reliable, consistent quality.
MSTK manages its tomatoes from selecting the seeds to harvesting the fruit. Based on our customers’ requirements, our production team supervises every step of the growing process, and they’re out walking the fields during harvest. Because we contract with the best family growers in California, we have our hands on quality control throughout the entire year.
Single point of contact.
With MSTK, your sales representative is your business partner and single point of contact for every function. Whether you want to check out a different pump, sample different tomato products, place an order, or schedule a delivery, you’ll call one person. We guarantee 100 percent customer-service satisfaction.
Quick (and hassle free) deliveries.
We have six warehouses nationwide: Northlake, Illinois; Chester, Pennsylvania; Jacksonville, Florida; Garland, Texas; Los Banos, California and Kent, Washington. That means that, no matter where you’re based, there’s an MSTK delivery truck a phone call away and shorter lead times for your order!
More efficient operations.
Ordering directly from the producer. Faster communications. Enhanced product delivery. And a single supply-chain facilitator. This all translates to a more efficient operation on your side, with fewer overhead costs.
We want to be your compass.
After 45 years in the tomato business, we’ve learned a few things. And we want to share that expertise with you, to help grow your business as big as you can dream it. We can be your compass, pointing you in the direction of success.
Operations and technology.
Whether it’s deciding on the best equipment to fit your product, or how to restructure your operation to enhance yields, we’re just a phone call away.
Supply Chain and Logistics.
With our national network of distribution centers, MSTK can provide the most cost-effective products for your operation and identify the most efficient logistical routes for delivery. With us, it’s one step — not six.
From marketing research referrals and pricing to storage and freight, MSTK will discuss and point you in the right direction for the best go-to-market strategies for your product. We’re with you every step of the way.
Not just a commodity.
Our global clients have exacting performance standards for their tomato products. We bring those same standards of quality to our MSTK product line. We’re concerned about issues like viscosity, finish, screen size, and NTSS so you don’t have to be. And we can confidently recommend the best product for your particular application.
We offer a wide variety of hot and cold break tomato pastes ranging from thin and finely textured to thick and coarse, with different finish options. Hot Break Paste is generally used in ketchups, pizza, pasta, dipping, and barbecue sauces. Our thinner, brighter Cold Break Paste is typically used in soups and drinks.
Diced in Juice
Our red, ripe tomatoes are washed, sorted, peeled, and diced in three different size cuts: ⅜”, ½”, and ¾”. They’re commonly used in salsas, pasta sauces, and frozen foods because of their firmness and texture.
Our concentrated crushed product is lower in solids, but with more peel and seed for a very coarse texture. This works well in products that can showcase the characteristics of the tomato, such as salsas and pizza sauces.
Coarse Ground/Diced in Puree
Of our many Diced in Puree options, the Coarse Ground is the most popular. It’s a petite-diced cut in puree with no calcium added, allowing the highly flavored pieces to soften and work well in pasta sauces. We also carry a ¾” strip-cut in puree and a random-kitchen-cut in puree, with thicker chunks allowing for greater texture.
Fire-Roasted in Juice
Our fire-roasted tomatoes are slowly roasted and the juice is smoked to give it a bolder, well-rounded taste. Fire-roasted tomatoes — in ½” and ¾” — make a great addition to any tomato product, particularly salsas.
|Hot Break Paste|
|Cold Break Paste|
|Diced in Juice|
Diced in Puree
|Fire-Roasted in Juice|
Also ask us about Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Tomato Powder.
MSTK offers these products in flexible container quantities:
- 55-gallon aseptic fiber or steel drum
- Food-service-sized pouches
- 300-gallon aseptic bag-in-a-box
“MSTK delivers the best-quality tomatoes, hands down. We’re a small, artisan purveyor, and Morning Star treats us exactly as they would their biggest client. They offer contract pricing, provide research development, news on trends, and send us any sample we need. There’s just no comparison to their customer service.”
—Tuck Caruthers, Purveyors Kitchen
Preservation & Co.
“Their reps are quick to respond, we get same-day or next-day delivery, and they’re always available to help us with questions about new equipment or the industry. They really helped us transition from pouches to drums, how to modify our recipes, and adapt to a different brix value. Morning Star has shown a genuine interest in our company — they are long-term partners.”
—Jason Poole, Preservation & Co.
Mrs. Griffin’s Original BBQ Sauce
“I can totally trust that they’ll get me my product on time, every time. Brandon’s my ‘go-to guy,’ he does what he says he’ll do. As a business owner, I have a lot of stuff to worry about. But tomato paste is no longer one of them.”
— Roland Neel, Owner and CEO, Mrs. Griffin’s BBQ Sauce
Our mission is to be a full service tomato ingredients supplier providing unequivocally superior services and supply-chain solutions to specialty, and geographically unique customers.
Our goal is to ensure a healthy environment. In partnership with our suppliers, we use economically viable practices to protect sensitive areas, improve air, water, and soil quality, protect wildlife resources and conserve non-renewable mineral resources. We reduce waste and pollution through technological innovation, conserve energy and limit our use of water, pesticide and nutrient to those biologically required for a successful crop.
To learn more about our Sustainability Platform, please contact your MSTK representative.
Certifications & Recognitions
Take your business to the next level.